SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A man has been indicted on a felony charge for the death of a puppy found in a Scottsdale alley earlier this year and prosecutors are asking for the public’s help in finding him.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said on Wednesday that 36-year-old Lester Paul Richmond was officially charged with one count of intentionally subjecting a domestic animal to cruel mistreatment, a class 5 felony. It’s the highest level of punishment for animal abuse in Arizona someone can face. “Cruelty to animals is a senseless and heinous crime. My office takes these crimes very seriously,” said Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell.
Richmond and 32-year-old Heather Auditor were arrested nearly a month after somebody found a husky puppy’s body in an alley on June 23 near McKellips and Scottsdale roads. Court records show the dog’s mouth was duct-tapped shut and had a cord wrapped around its neck. The puppy was about 8 to 10 weeks old.
Investigators say surveillance video shows Auditor and Richmond talking about getting rid of the dog where Auditor worked as a cashier. There’s also a video reportedly showing Richmond’s car, which had the Arizona “Pet Friendly” license plate, in the alley when the puppy was abandoned.
MCAO says after he was arrested, the office sent the case back to Scottsdale for more investigation and Richmond was subsequently released. After Scottsdale police resubmitted the case, MCAO moved forward with prosecuting him and he was indicted by a county grand jury.
However, MCAO said its investigators tried to serve him with a summons but haven’t found him. So the office is asking for help in finding him. Anyone with information is asked to call Scottsdale Police at 480-312-TIPS.
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